Filmdrunk 102: Denis and the Footsteps of Marco Polo



This week we talk to Denis Belliveau, who recreated Marco Polo’s journey over a 2 year period. He has some amazing stories from his travels. Then we talk to Laremy about Snow White and Fantasy Box Office.

    00:02:38 – Special guest Denis Bellveau is a travel photographer who in 1994, with a friend, retraced Marco Polo’s journey on its 700th anniversary. The trip took 2 years to plan, and 2 years to execute. They each used 24 visas, some forged, or snuck into countries while not using any aircraft. They started the 30,000 mile trip in Venice. Denis talks about traveling through countries in civil wars, historical sights that were destroyed or missing, how the UN became their cultural backers, having their phones tapped in police states, and the openness of the people of Central Asia.
    00:26:30 – Vince brings up the camel journey through western China, and how the camels regurgitate their stomach. Denis discusses how the time in Mongolia was like stepping back in Marco Polo’s time, which was a highlight since the whole trip was trying to recreate that journey. He also talks about food poisoning, an interesting lamb stew, circumcision parties, how not to hitchhike in Turkey, and getting arrested in Iran.
    00:47:40 – The trip was completed in 1995, but the movie about the trip didn’t come out until 2008. Denis and his friend initially tried to get a book deal but were rejected by several publishers. They thought a book deal would lead to a movie, but when Macs and Final Cut Pro came along they decided to work on the movie themselves. There is an interesting story about the time Polo was imprisoned that led to mythical creatures being incorporated into his stories. Denis now travels to schools to inspire kids to get off their asses and explore.
    01:00:08 – Laremy joins the Frotcast after the whole G.I. Joe debacle to get a replacement pick for the Fantasy Film Box Office. His new pick, The Watch, gets picked out of a hat (or Vince’s bike helmet). Both Vince and Laremy saw Snow White and the Huntsman, which they found to be dumb and boring, and lacking any redeeming qualities. Although, Vince loved K-Stew’s Braveheart speech, and wished the dwarves were part of the selling part. Laremy also saw Safety Not Guaranteed with Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass. There is some Boogie Nights talk, Mr. Vince pops up again, and Laremy details what he has been up to recently.
    01:22:18 – Vince reads one of Bret’s cunty responses to an email, and the guys talk about douchey comments and fake internet rage. A listener has a life changing experience with the Monkey Scoop technique.

Drunk On!

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